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Child support collection methods strengthened

More than $33 billion in child support payments are gathered annually in the United States. The vast majority of those payments are engineered through payroll deductions. New York parents dependent upon payroll deductions for their child support might be interested in knowing that the federal agency charged with overseeing the collection process is making changes to eliminate some procedures that result in missed payments.

The Office of Child Support Enforcement works with state-level agencies to enforce obligations through mandated employer participation in the support collection process. Over 75 percent of payments come from payroll deductions, so even incremental improvements can substantially impact collection numbers. Historically, employers have been allowed to outsource reporting to third party payroll administrators, many of whom ignore the obligation or charge a premium for their services. The OCSE is working with the payroll community to find a solution to the problem of third-party fees being charged to child support agencies. This step should improve efficiency and reduce costs for state agencies, allowing resources to be better allocated.

Employers with multiple locations across state lines have historically been allowed leeway in reporting employee locations. However, new procedures require more precise accounting of employee locations. This allows for proper percentages to be applied in calculating deductions since states have differing guidelines for collection. Streamlining communication between intra-state agencies is another stated goal moving forward.

Child support calculation and collection is a major concern for parents on both sides of the issue. Consulting a qualified divorce lawyer to clarify obligations and procedures can provide peace of mind for concerned parents.

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